Skip to main content

Austin Chef Wins TV’s Coveted “Top Chef” Title

published on March 2, 2012

Foodies across Texas have been eagerly cheering chefs from their home towns on season nine of Bravo’s Top Chef, and Austin has been no exception with our own Paul Qui, executive chef of the popular Central Austin sushi restaurant Uchiko on North Lamar, close to the Tarrytown neighborhood. Qui was named the winning chef on last night’s final episode, and will return to Austin to prepare food for even larger crowds than Uchiko has seen before.

This season of Top Chef had Texas in the spotlight, with 29 contestants traversing Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio to win the coveted namesake title. Qui made Austin and his mentor, Uchi executive chef Tyson Cole, proud when he claimed the top honors.  Born in Manila, Philippines and trained in classic French and Japanese cuisine, Qui is known for taking a modernist approach towards food, adapting traditional Japanese dishes with an eye towards local flavor, all while incorporating influences from South East Asian and European cuisine. 

The Austin Food and Wine Festival will host Qui and his fellow competitor Sarah Grueneberg in April, with tickets for the event on sale now.  Event organizers asked Qui what he loves most about calling Austin home, and he was quick to respond:

  • Bikes. Bikes. Bikes.
  • Live music. Festivals year round. ACL, SXSW, etc. It always feels like there is something going on.
  • I love riding my bike around the city.
  • Great outdoors. The weather is great most times of the year.
  • Friendly people. Southern hospitality, some of the nicest, most sincere people live here.

When asked what it means to win Top Chef: Texas as a Texas chef, Qui responded, “It represented Texas well and brought the title to Austin! I think that there are a lot of Chefs that deserve recognition, and I’m happy to be able to shine a national spotlight to what we do in Texas. It isn’t all about BBQ and Tex Mex.”

Qui’s final remarks to Bravo were words of advice that many Austinites will be heeding as soon as he returns to work at Uchiko, “Eat more raw fish!” If Austin’s continued reasons to boast of its innovative, successful inhabitants has attracted you to the sunny city, contact an Austin realtor to start a new Austin home search today.

Austin Home Price Estimate


What's your home worth? Use our instant home price estimator to get an idea of what your home might sell for on the market today.